By LOGAN DARNELL
For the Coal Valley News
VAN - Jake Jones begins his first year as an administrator at Van High this year, only three and a half years after a period of teaching at the school. Now that he has a front office, he said, he is ready to serve the students the best he can.
Originally from Harrison County, Jones said he always loved academics and athletics. He graduated from Notre Dame High School in Clarksburg, received his bachelor's at Fairmont State, and his master's at American College of Education. At Van, he taught science and coached multiple sports, an experience he looks back on fondly. When he had heard a position had opened up back in Boone County, he jumped on board. While he loves to coach, he says the athletic director job allows him to be part of supporting every team.
Jones says he most looks forward to being back with the students and residents at Van.
"I love the community. The people are great, they're super helpful, and they're super welcoming," he said.
The administrative job is the first he has had, and he is looking forward to meeting the challenges and excitement associated with it.
"The students are first," Jones says when asked about his goals. "Getting all of our students college and career-ready - not just college-ready, as some are going to learn trade, and that's perfectly fine."
He said he hopes to build a stronger relationship with the community, as he believes locals who support the school are crucial to its success.
He wants students at Van to know he's there for them.
"They're a bunch of great kids. They know as in the past that if there is anything I can do to help, don't hesitate."